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Itchy Skin on the Stomach
The most common cause of itchy skin on the stomach is dry skin, also called xerosis. According to the Mayo Clinic website, xerosis may occur with fluctuations in weather and humidity, either naturally-occurring seasonal changes or man-made changes from air conditioning and heating. Frequent bathing in hot water can also dry out the skin and cause itching.
Allergies and Irritants
Irritant contact dermatitis is a reaction to soaps, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes and other substances. It results in itching and a red, scaling rash. A sensitivity to wool clothing may also cause itching on the stomach. Food allergies may also cause itching on the stomach, often accompanied by a raised rash or hives.
Itchy skin can be a sign of an underlying disease. Liver disease, celiac disease, kidney problems, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid function disorders and cancers may be accompanied by itching. The itching is usually not accompanied by a rash and occurs all over the body.
Dermatographism literally means the ability to write on the skin. Individuals with this disorder have skin that is extremely sensitive to touch, pressure and scratching. A raised, swollen, itchy rash appear in area that are touched. The American Association of Family Practitioners lists many other skin conditions that can cause itching. Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition that begin with one red, itching peeling area on the stomach or abdomen and spreads. The affected skin may turn red or tan. Chickenpox, shingles and scabies can also cause itching on the stomach and are often accompanied by a rash or redness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, itchy skin may be a reaction to a variety of medications including antibiotics, antifungal drugs or narcotic pain medications. If you have recently started a new medication or changed the dose or formulation, call your health care provider to discuss whether itching could be a side effect.
Many women experience itchy skin during pregnancy, especially in the areas where the skin stretches the most such as the stomach, thighs and buttocks. Approximately 1 percent of pregnant women experience extremely itchy skin accompanied by a red, raised rash. This condition is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPS and the first symptoms often appear on the stomach. Severe cases of PUPPS may require prescription creams to control the itching.
Your treatment options for itchy skin will depend on the cause of your symptoms. Removing the irritant, changing medication or treating an underlying disease should alleviate itching. Allergies and skin conditions often respond to antihistamines. Discuss your treatment with a health care provider. The American Dermatology Association recommends caring for dry, itchy skin by bathing in water that is warm but not hot. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap to help skin retain natural oils and apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.
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